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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 180-187

Management of diabetes insipidus in children

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, Parel, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudha Rao Chandrashekhar
-103, Tycoons' Residency, Club Road, Opposite KDMC Ward B office, Kalyan (West), District Thane, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.84858

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Diabetes Insipidus (DI) is a heterogeneous clinical syndrome of disturbance in water balance, characterized by polyuria (urine output > 4 ml/kg/hr), polydypsia (water intake > 2 L/m 2 /d) and failure to thrive. In children, Nephrogenic DI (NDI) is more common than Central DI (CDI), and is often acquired. The signs and symptoms vary with etiology, age at presentation and mode of onset. Neonates and infants with NDI are severely affected and difficult to treat. Diagnosis is based on the presence of high plasma osmolality and low urinary osmolality with significant water diuresis. Water deprivation test with vasopressin challenge, though has limitations, is done to differentiate NDI and CDI and diagnose their partial forms. Measurement of urinary aquaporin 2 and serum copeptin levels are being studied and show promising diagnostic potential. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) pituitary helps in the etiological diagnosis of CDI, absence of posterior pituitary bright signal being the pathognomic sign. If pituitary stalk thickening of < 2 mm is present, these children need to be monitored for evolving lesion. Neonates and young infants are better managed with fluids alone. Older children with CDI are treated with desmopressin. The oral form is safe, highly effective, with more flexibility of dosing and has largely replaced the intranasal form. In NDI besides treatment of the underlying cause, use of high calorie low solute diet and drugs to ameliorate water excretion (thiazide, amelioride, indomethacin) are useful. Children with NDI however well treated, remain short and have mental retardation on follow up.

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